Office Hoarders: More Common Than You'd Think
Ever walk by a co-worker's desk and spy an open drawer brimming with office supplies, even though there's a well-stocked, easily accessible supply closet on the premises? Well, if they're hoarding office supplies at work, there's a good chance they're hoarding them at home too.
Professional organizer Matt Paxton, who has appeared on A&E's 'Hoarders,' talks about a retired Eastman Kodak office assistant whose closets were stuffed with more than 20 years worth of mostly obsolete office supplies, like carbon paper and typewriter erasers. He told MSNBC he believes that there's a hoarder in every family, and at least one in every office as well.
This is not surprising. Look at your own desk. Chances are you have at least one 'hoarding' drawer, full of random items and papers you're hesitant to throw out, because you think you might need them some day. And just how many packages of ketchup, soy sauce and sweetener do you have on hand there?
Of course hoarding contributes to clutter. A recent OfficeMax survey reports that more than two-thirds of Americans admit their organizational skills are lacking, and that many are ashamed of their disorganization and worried about people dropping by their office or home for fear of witnessing their messy habits. The areas people are reportedly most ashamed of anyone seeing include their desk or workspace (35 percent), bedroom closet (28 percent), or desk drawers (12 percent).
Another Officemax survey reveals that nearly six in 10 (56 percent) of employed Americans admittedly take products from their employers for their own personal use at home. Three in 10 (30 percent) working Americans who take supplies home say they considered it an act of borrowing and planned to bring the items back. Twenty-five percent say they didn't think their employer would really miss the supplies.
The line between hoarding, borrowing and stealing is a thin one, but many employers set an absolute limit at the reselling of office supplies or equipment on websites like eBay. And while taking supplies home for personal use can also get you in trouble, why even risk hoarding in your desk? The Officemax survey says that more than half (53 percent) of their respondents admit to thinking negatively of their co-workers with messy desks. In fact, professionals who see a colleague's cluttered workspace reportedly assume that person must be lacking in other aspects of his or her job (40 percent) or take it one step further and have a lower overall opinion of this colleague (13 percent).
It just might be time to do a little spring cleaning in your workspace, unless you want to labeled as the hoarder in your office.
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